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VERBAL ABILITY

QUICK RECAP

BOOKLET
Articles
What is an article?
An article is an adjective. It defines a noun as specific or unspecific.
English has two articles: the and a/an.
The is used to refer to specific or particular nouns; a/an is used to modify non-specific or
non-particular nouns.
the = definite article
a/an = indefinite article

Indefinite Articles: a and an


"A" and "an" signal that the noun modified is indefinite, referring to any member of a
group. For example:
"My daughter really wants a dog for Christmas." This refers to any dog. We don't
know which dog because we haven't found the dog yet.
"Somebody call a policeman!" This refers to any policeman. We don't need a
specific policeman; we need any policeman who is available.

Remember, using a or an depends on the sound that begins the next word.
a + singular noun beginning with a consonant: a boy; a car; a bike; a zoo; a dog
an + singular noun beginning with a vowel: an elephant; an egg; an apple; an idiot;
an orphan
a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound: a user (sounds like 'yoo-zer,'
i.e. begins with a consonant 'y' sound, so 'a' is used); a university; a unicycle
an + nouns starting with silent "h": an hour
a + nouns starting with a pronounced "h": a horse

Remember that these rules also apply when you use acronyms. For example:
Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) handles first-year writing at the University.

If the noun is modified by an adjective, the choice between a and an depends on the
initial sound of the adjective that immediately follows the article:
a broken egg
an unusual problem
a European country (sounds like 'yer-o-pi-an,' i.e. begins with consonant 'y' sound)

Definite Article: the


The definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or
particular.
For example:
"The dog that bit me ran away."
Use of the
Before the names of historical buildings: The Taj, The Golden Temple, The Red
Fort etc.
Before the names of religious books, newspapers and magazines: The Guru Granth
Sahib, The Bible, The Gita, The Tribune etc.
Before the names of communities: The Sikhs, The Hindus, The Muslims etc.
Before the names of important trains: The Superfast, The Himgiri etc.
Before the names of directions: The east, The west etc.
Before the names of planets: The Earth, The Sun, The Moon etc.
Before superlative degrees:The best, The highest, The most intelligent etc.
Before the names of states which are based on geographical facts: The Punjab, The
U.P etc.
Before the names of countries if the names show that they are unions of states:
The U.S.A, The U.K, The U.A.E etc.
Before the names of Rivers, Oceans, Mountains ranges, groups of islands, bays,
desert etc:
The Ganga, The Indian Ocean, The Himalayas, The Andamans, The Bay of Bengal, The
Sahara etc.
Before the names of families: The Nehrus, The Mehtas etc.
With a singular noun to represent a whole class: The dog is a faithful animal.
Before Ordinals: The first, The second, The last etc.
Before adjectives when they are used as nouns: The rich, The poor, The brave etc.
Before well-known historical events: The French Revolution, The Partition of India
etc.
For a particular person, thing or animal that has already been mentioned: I have a
coat. The coat is very warm.
Before Comparatives: The deeper the well, the sweater the water.
Before the three parts of a day: In the morning, In the afternoon, In the evening.
Before the names of commissions: The Jain Commission, The Sarkaria Commission
etc.
With musical Instruments: The flute, The Sitar, The harmonium etc.
Before proper nouns to give them the meaning of the common nouns: Kalidas is the
Shakespeare of India.
Before the organs of the body: The heart, The head, The lungs.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns


The can be used with Uncountable nouns, or the article can be omitted entirely.
"He spilled the milk all over the floor" (some specific milk, perhaps the milk you
bought earlier that day) or "He spilled milk all over the floor" (any milk).
"A/an" can be used only with countable nouns.
"I need a bottle of water."
"I need a new glass of milk."
Do not use the before:
names of most countries/territories: Italy, Mexico, Bolivia; names of cities, towns,
or states: Chandigarh, Punjab, Delhi; names of lakes and bays: Lake Sukhna, Lake
Naini except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes; names of mountains:
Mount Everest, Mount Fuji; names of continents (Asia, Europe)

Omission of Articles
Some common types of nouns that don't take an article are:
Before Proper Nouns:
The Ashoka was a great king. (Wrong) Ashoka was a great king. (Correct)
Before common names used in their widest sense: The man is mortal. (Wrong)
Man is mortal. (Correct)
Before Abstract Nouns:
The honesty is the best policy. (Wrong) Honesty is the best policy. (Correct)
Before metals or Material Nouns: A house is made of the brick. (Wrong)A house is
made of brick. (Correct)
Before names of languages, grammar etc. I am learning the English. (Wrong)
I am learning English. (Correct)
Before names of relations: The father has not yet come. (Wrong)
Father has not yet come. (Correct)
Before the games of games:I play the cricket daily. (Wrong) I play cricket daily.
(Correct)
Noun Errors
What is a noun?

A noun is a word; it is used as the name of a person, animal, place, bird, idea, emotion or
thing.For example boy, girl, table, chair, peacock, honesty, happiness, wisdom, book etc.,

What are the different types of nouns?


Nouns come in different forms: proper (name of particular person, place or thing like
Mahatma Gandhi, Delhi), common (common to every person or thing of the same class of
kind like girl, book, chair) , abstract (name of a feelings, ideas, action like love, fear,
hate) , collective (collection of persons or things taken together and spoken of as one
whole as: Crowd, army, jury, nation, parliament, committee.)

Further, the nouns can be classified into two major types as: countable and uncountable
nouns.
Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted. Most nouns in English are countable.
Examples: 1. I have two dogs. 2. Sandra has three cars. 3. Jessie has ten dollars.
Uncountable nouns are not counted in English We often picture these nouns as a single
concept or one big thing which is hard to divide. Examples:1. Mack drinks a lot of water.
2. Cindy gives great advice.3. Paul enjoys politics. (Ends with "s" but uncountable)

Common Uncountable Nouns:

Advice, Air, blood, baggage, coffee, cash, damage, electricity, food, equipment,
furniture, gold, homework, information, knowledge, laughter, luggage, machinery,
money, music, news, peace, rain, research, scenery, soap, snow, traffic, violence, water,
work.

Expressions of Quantity

Countable Noun Uncountable Noun


a,an, one,two,three.., another, each, ____
every, several (these words are not used with uncountable
nouns)
Few , a few , fewer, number of, many Little, a little, less, amount of, much
Some, any, all, other Some, any, all, other

Correct and Incorrect Plurals

Correct Incorrect
hundreds of examples hundred of examples, hundreds of
example
three feet three foot
an eight- foot- long tail an eight- feet- long tail
ten thousand people ten thousands people
two million years ago two millions years ago
a fifty percent decrease a fifty percents decrease
PRONOUN ERRORS
Pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun, e.g. he, she, it, they, his, her, him its
etc.
Example: Sachin is an intelligent student. He goes to school daily. He studies a lot. He is
making preparation for examination. He will get good marks in examination.
In the above paragraph pronoun he is used instead of noun Sachin.
Uses and types of different pronouns:

Error Types:
1. Subject vs. Object: Identify each pronoun and its role in the sentence: is it the
subject or object of the main verb? And then check whether it has been correctly used or
not.
For Example: Incorrect: How could she blame you and he for the accident?
Correct: How could she blame you and him for the accident?
Here, "she" is the subject, and the pronouns "you" and "he" are acting as the objects of the
sentence:
Both pronouns acting as objects must be in the objective case; as indicated in the graphic
above, "him" is objective while "he," used in the first sentence, is subjective, and
therefore incorrect.

2 .Who Vs Whom: If the pronoun is acting as a subject, use who. If it is acting as an


object, use whom.
For Example: I don't know whom Kate married.
Why is "whom" correct? Because Kate is the subject of this sentence not the person she
married.

3. Possessive Pronoun Agreement: When you come across possessive pronouns such
as yours, theirs, his, hers and its, check to see whether they agree with their antecedents
in number and gender.
For Example: Incorrect: I brought my Cola, and I'm glad to see that some of you brought
theirs. Correct: I brought my Cola, and I'm glad to see that some of you brought yours.
This sentence contains three different pronouns: I, you, and theirs. The speaker (I)
correctly refers to her Cola as my cola, but she is mistaken in calling her friends
cola theirs. Because she is addressing them as you, she must refer to her friends cola
using the possessive pronoun yours.

4. Objects of to be verbs: Watch for pronouns following "to be" verbs (these include verbs
such as "it should have been," "it is," "it could have been," "it was," etc.), and make sure
they are in subject form.
For Example:
It must have been (her / she) who called.
This sentence contains two pronouns, It and she. The pronoun It is the subject of the to
be verb must have been, and the pronoun she is the object. Many casual speakers and
writers of English do not know the rule about the to be verb and mistakenly use the
object form of the verb, her: It must have been her who called. However, the to be
rule requires the subject form: It must have been she who called. The pronoun she is
correct.

5. Relative Pronouns: Which, that and who are relative pronouns. A relative pronoun
must refer to the noun or pronoun immediately preceding it.
Which introduces non-essential clauses; that introduces essential clauses.
Who refers to individuals; that and which refer to a group of persons, class, type,
species, or one or more things.
Whose is used to refer to both people and things.

For Example:
John was met at the door by a strange man, which he, being afraid, opened slowly.
This sentence is definitely confusing, but its meaning can be clarified by adjusting the
placement of the nouns in the sentence. The relative pronoun must be right next to its
antecedent:
Correct: John was met by a strange man at the door, which he opened slowly out of fear.

6. Impersonal Pronouns:
Impersonal Pronouns should match with their respective possessive pronouns.

For Example:
Incorrect: One should have their teeth checked every six months.
Correct: One should have one's teeth checked every six months.
Correct: One should have his or her teeth checked every six months.
Correct: You should have your teeth checked every six months.

A Summary of How to Recognize Pronoun Errors

Look for:
Subject, object, or possessive pronouns
Who or whom (interrogative pronouns)
Relative pronouns
Impersonal pronouns
Pronouns following to be verbs
Check for:
Subjectverb agreement
Pronoun agreement
Pronoun placement
TENSES
In English (and in many other languages) we don't use a verb the same way all the time.
We usually change it in different situations. When we change the verb to show

WHEN (timing) something happens, it is called the TENSE of the verb.

PRESENT TENSE PRESENT CONTINOUS PRESENT PERF. PRESENT


Is/ am/ are + ing Has/ have + third PERF.CONT.
1.Universal Truth: form of the verb. form.
Started in the past
Eg: The earth AM is used with I. HAS is used with and is still continuing.
revolves around the He/ She/ It/
sun.2. Daily IS is used with He/ Name/ Singular Has/ have + been +
Routine: She/ It/ Name/ Subjects. ing form of the verb.
Singular Subjects.
Eg: I go to school HAVE is used with Eg: He has been
daily. ARE is used with We/ They/ You/ living in this house
They/ We/ You/ I/ Plural Subjects. since 1985.
In present tense Plural Subjects.
first form of the Eg: They have He has been playing
verb is used. Eg: He is playing done their work. for 5 hours.
cricket.
With He/ She/ It/ He has already
Name/ Singular They are playing left.
Subjects we use cricket. Time is specified
plural verbs like Time can or using since/ for.
I am playing cricket. cannot be
speaks/ plays/ SINCE is used for a
does/ goes/ writes. Birds are flying. specified.
particular time.
Eg: He does his I am teaching you all. When time is
Eg: Since 1985, since
works. specified:
Monday, since last
The fan is moving.
He plays Eg: She has been week, since 5 o clock.
football. ill since Monday.
FOR is used for
With I/ We/ They/ duration.
You/ Plural subjects Eg: For 3 hours, for 2
we use singular weeks, for 6 years.
verbs like speak/
play/ do/ go/ write.

Eg: I do my work.

I play football.
PAST PAST CONTINOUS PAST PERFECT PAST PERFECT
CONT.

2nd form of the verb Was / were + ing Had + 3rd form of
is used. form of the verb. the verb (spoken, Had + been + ing form
gone, done, of the verb.
Eg: I played WAS is used with I/ written, talked)
yesterday. He/ She/ It/ Name/ Activity starts in the
Singular subjects. When past event past, continues in the
I completed my is not specified: past and finished in
graduation last WERE is used with the past.
week. You/ They/ We/ Eg: He had gone
Plural subjects. to school ten Eg: I had been
years ago. studying for your
Eg: He was talking to exam that was
her. They were When the past yesterday.
playing football. event is specified
it means past
before the past:
He had been living in
Eg: When I that house from 1985
reached the to 2000.
station, the train
had already left.

When the doctor For times in past


reached the perfect continuous
patients house, we use fromto and
the patient had for.
already died.

FUTURE FUTURE CONT. FUTURE PERFECT FUTURE PERF.


CONT.

Will + be+ ing form Will/ would +


Will + 1st form of have + 3rd form
the verb. Will/ would/ shall +
been + ing form of
Eg: He will be going
the verb.
to he market Eg: He will have
Eg: I will go to the tomorrow. done his work by 5
market tomorrow. o clock today.
Eg: He will be doing
his work by 5 oclock
He will be playing
today.
tomorrow. He would have
reached Delhi by 3 I shall be reaching
oclock today. Delhi soon.
Points to remember:

Present tense can be used to denote an action in immediate future. E.g.: Please go
back, it is about to rain.

Present Continuous tense is used for :

a) A certain plan for near future. E.g. I am going to France in the coming week.
b) Repeated actions, especially those that are irritating, where we use words like
always and constantly. E.g. Mark is always interrupting people.

c) Describing trends, developments and changes. E.g. Nowadays people are eating
out more often than in the past.

d) Something going on for a long period, not necessarily at the present moment.
E.g. He is working on this project for the past one year.

When Present Continuous tense is not used:

a) Present Continuous tense cannot be used to write about habits, likes or


preferences.

E.g. I am not liking to eat non- vegetarian food. (Incorrect)

I do not like to eat non vegetarian food. (Correct)

b) Also, it cant be used when describing regular or routine activities.

E.g. I am going to the club every day. (Correct)

I go to the club every day. (Incorrect)


Prepositions
Prepositions tell the position of people or things in relation to where other people or
things are located. They can show relationships between objects in space (where one
thing is in relation to another), and they can show relationships in time (when an event
occurred in relation to another event).

Examples (space relationship): The paper is under the book.


My mother walked through the door.
Examples (time relationship): I left the graduation ceremony before the final speech.
Jacky felt sick during the plane ride.

The following chart shows how prepositions are used.

Some Common prepositions and their usage is given below:

1. Within- means before the end of a certain period.


E.g. I will return the money within a week.

2. During- It indicates duration of time.


E.g.: During our vacation, we visited many relatives across the country.

3. Since-refers to a certain point of time, from past till now.


E.g. I have been working as a linguist since 2004.

4. For-refers to duration of time, from past till now.


E.g. I worked for a travelling agency for two years

5. Till- indicates, how long something or some action is going to last.


E.g. will wait here till you come.

6. Until-indicates up to the point of time.


E. g. Dont go away until I say so.

7. Below/Underrefers to lower than something but above the ground.


E.g. The thief was hiding below the staircase.
E.g. My ring rolled under the table.

8. Overmeans getting to the other side.


E.g. The horse jumped over the fence.

9. Beside- means by the side of.


E.g. The child walked beside the mother.

10. Among- refers to more than two people or things.


E.g. The victorious team celebrated among themselves.

11.Between- refers to two people or things. E.g. The baby sat between his parents.

12.Above- refers to higher than something else. E.g. I saw clouds sailing in the sky, above
my head

13. Through refers to movement, with limits on top, bottom and sides. E.g. The train
moved through the dark tunnel.

14. Into- refers to movement of entering into the inside of anything. E.g. The child ran
into the street, at the sound of ice-cream vendors bell.

15.Onto- indicates movement towards top of something. E.g. The squirrel jumped onto
the table.
Modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses that restrict or provide extra information
about other words, phrases, or clauses. Adjectives (the red car, the happy child) and
adverbs (he runs quickly) are modifiers.

1. Errors in the Use of Adjectives and Adverbs

After you've identified the word as an adjective or adverb, try to determine whether it is
used correctly. Look at the sentence below:

She is a real good swimmer.

The word good modifies swimmer. Goodis an adjective and adjectives modify nouns. No
error there. But notice the word real, used to modify the adjective good. Real is an
adjective only adverb modify adjectives.

Incorrect: She is a real good Swimmer.


Correct: She is a really good Swimmer.

2. Errors of Adjectives with Sense Verbs


Sense verbs convey personal opinions, thoughts, and perceptions in an inherently
subjective manner. Examples: Sound, Look, Smell, Taste, Feel

Incorrect: The apple pancake tastes deliciously.


Correct: The apple pancake tastes delicious.

3. Misplaced Modifiers: A misplaced modifier a word, phrase, or clause that has landed
in the wrong place in the sentence. A modifier must be placed next to the word it
modifies. When the modifier is incorrectly placed, the sentence either communicates
meaning the writer did not intend--or makes no sense at all. Look at the sentence below:
Sharon put the hat on her head that she bought yesterday.
The clause that she bought yesterday is supposed to modify the noun hat. However, since
the modifying clause is placed next to the word head, the sentence seems to suggest that
Sharon bought her head yesterday. The solution to this misplaced modifier problem is
obvious: move the modifier to place it next to the word it modifies.

Incorrect: Sharon put the hat on her head that she bought yesterday.
Correct: Sharon put the hat that she bought yesterday on her head.
Subject Verb Agreement

Subjects and verbs must agree. Singular subjects must be paired with singular verbs, and
plural subjects with plural verbs. Agreement allows us to show who's doing what in a
sentence by indicating which parts of the sentence go together.

Singular verbs generally have an "s" at the end. Plural verbs do not. Nouns are the
opposite:

John (singular noun) walks (singular verb)


Boys (plural noun) drive (plural verb)

Rule 1: Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb. Example-My
aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.

Rule 2: Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular


verb. Examples -Neither John nor Susan is available. Either Kiana or Casey helps
today with stage decorations.

Rule 3: When one of your two subjects is I, put it second and follow it with the singular
verb am. Example-Neither she nor I am going to the festival.

Rule 4: When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the
plural subject last and use a plural verb. Example-The book or the magazines are on the
shelf.

Rule 5: When a singular and plural subject is connected by either/or or neither/nor, put
the plural subject last and use a plural verb. Example-Neither Jenny nor the others are
available.

Rule 6: As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are
connected by and. Example-A car and a bike are my means of transportation.

Rule 7: Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as
well as, besides, or not. Ignore these expressions when determining whether to use a
singular or plural verb. Examples: The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected
shortly. Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of her shaking.

Rule 8: The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone,
and somebody are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows
of. Example: Each of the girls sings well. Every one of the cakes is gone.

Rule 9: With words that indicate portionspercent, fraction, part, majority, some, all,
none, remainder, etc.look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to
determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is
singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.
Example: Fifty percent of the pie has disappeared. Fifty percent of the pies have
disappeared.
Rule 10: When either and neither are subjects, they always take singular verbs.
Examples: Neither of them is available to speak right now. Either of us is capable of
doing the job.

Rule 11: Use a singular verb with sums of money or periods of time. Examples Ten
dollars is a high price to pay. Five years is the maximum sentence for that offense.

Rule 12: Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural
depending on their use in the sentence. Examples -
The staff is in a meeting.
Staff is acting as a unit here.
The staff are in disagreement about the findings.
The staff are acting as separate individuals in this sentence.
The sentence would read even better like this: The staff members are in disagreement
about the findings.
Modals

Modals are words used between Subjects and verbs.

Mary could play the piano.


We should follow traffic rules.
We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or
possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability,
asking permission making requests and offers, and so on.

1. Can- Ability e.g. She can speak six languages.


2. Could- Past Ability e.g. I could climb the tree.
a. Polite Permission eg. Can I borrow your pen?
3. Could have- Past unreal Ability e.g. She could have taken the flight.
4. May- Formal Permission e.g. May I come in?
Probability e.g. We may visit Mexico this summer.
Blessing e.g. May God bless you.
5. Might- Future Probability e.g. I might move to Canada next year.
6. Might have-Past unreal Probability e.g. You might have sold the house, if you
really needed the money.
7. Will- Future Surety e.g. I will travel to Delhi next week.
8. Would- Past Habit e.g. When I was young, I would play Badminton.
9. Would have- Past unreal action e.g. I would have bought the car, but I didnt
have money.
10. Shall- Formal Set up/ Contractual expression e.g. The company shall pay you
on 31st March.
11. Should- Recommendation e.g. You should go to the doctor.
12. Should have-Past Recommendation. We should have listened to the doctor.
13. Ought to - Moral Advice e.g. You ought to respect your parents.
14. Must Responsibility e.g. Everyone must pay taxes.
Assumption e.g. She didnt arrive. She must be sick,
15. Have to- Obligation e.g. You have to pay the rent by Tuesday.
16. Used to-Past Habit/ Present Habit e.g. I used to climb the trees when I was 5.
He is used to smoking.
Parallelism

Parallelism is a rule of English grammar that demands consistency in a sentence's


structure. Any lists of ideas, places, activities, or descriptions that have the same
level of importance whether they are words, phrases, or clauses - must be
written in the same grammatical form.
Example: He likes running and to play soccer (incorrect).
He likes running and playing soccer(Correct)
Error 1-Lists of Verbs: Parallelism dictates that all the verbs in a given sentence
must be listed in the same form.
Example: Amit ate an apple, drank cola and was talking to me.( Incorrect)
Amit ate an apple, drank soda and talked to me. (Correct)

Error 2-Lists of Adjectives or Adverbs: Just like verbs, adverbs or adjectives in a


list must agree.
Example: On the morning of his fourth birthday, Johnny was giggly,
energetic and couldn't wait for the party to begin(Incorrect)
On the morning of his fourth birthday, Johnny was giggly, energetic and
very eager for the party to begin.( Correct)
Error 3- Multiple Pronouns: Be consistent: use whichever pronoun you choose all
the way through.

Example: If one decides to break the law, you must be willing to take
responsibility for any repercussions.( Incorrect)
If one decides to break the law, one must be willing to take responsibility
for any repercussions.( Correct)
If you decide to break the law, you must be willing to take responsibility
for any repercussions.( Correct)

Error 4 -Correlative pairs: such as eitheror, neithernor, not onlybut also,


and whetheror also require parallelism.
Example:The car is not only fast but also it is safe to drive.( Incorrect)

The car is not only fast but also safe. (Correct)


Error 5 Use of prepositions

Example: The cancer researcher is interested and excited about the new
advancements in medical technology. (Incorrect)
The cancer researcher is interested in and excited about the new
advancements in medical technology.(Correct)
Comparisons
Comparison questions feature words or phrases indicating similarity or difference.
These include words in the comparative or superlative form (greater, less, smaller,
more, scarier, friendlier, warmer, colder, better, best); comparison words and
phrases (like, unlike, as, as in, just as, that of, those of); and comparison
structures (Neithernor, eitheror).

1. A comparison can be faulty in two ways: it is not logical, or it is not


grammatical.

When checking for logical similarity, understand that only similar things can be
compared. You cant compare apples to oranges. I.e. places are compared only to
places; qualities only to qualities; parts only to parts; wholes only to wholes;
etc. Grammatical similarity deals with the forms of the words, rather than their
meanings.

For Example: The view from this apartment is not nearly as spectacular
as that mountain lodge. (Incorrect)
The view from this apartment is not nearly as spectacular as the view from that
mountain lodge. (Correct)

Whenever you see clue words such as like, unlike, more/less than, as
many/much as, in contrast with, or in comparison to, you must check whether
the comparison is expressed in parallel terms with regard to both grammar and
meaning.

2. Comparatives and Superlatives: Some comparison words are just special forms
of adjectives: instead of describing one thing, they describe the relationship
between two or more things.

Comparative:
used when comparing two things (including groups)
usually formed by adding "er" to the end of the
word: happier, softer, faster, taller

Superlative:
used when comparing more than two things
usually formed by adding "est" to the end of the
word: happiest, softest, fastest, tallest

Some irregular forms are: Good: better / best , Many: more / most
Bad: worse / worst Little: little, lesser, less / least
Much: more / most Far: farther, further / farthest, furthest

3. Comparisons are a special case of parallelism. A number of comparison-


specific constructions call for you to always express ideas in parallel form. These
constructions include:
Either X or Y...
Neither X nor Y...
Not only X but also Y...
X or Y can stand for as little as one word or as much as an entire clause, but in
every case, the grammatical structures of X and Y must be identical.

For Example: Neither an interest in history nor to be adept in a foreign language


is going to help you learn to sing. (Incorrect)
Neither an interest in history nor adeptness in a foreign language is going to help
you learn to sing.(Correct)
4. Like vs. As: The word like is a preposition. That means it can be followed
only by a noun, not a whole phrase. . To compare actions, we need the word
as.

For Example: I enjoy playing baseball, like Joey does.(Incorrect as It is


comparing two actions).
Joey, like me, plays baseball.(Correct as it is comparing two nouns, Joey & me)
I enjoy playing baseball, as Joey does. (Correct as Comparisons of actions
require the word as.)

5. More vs. Greater: When something countable or uncountable increases, we use


more and we use greater when the noun in question is a number.

For Example: Holland has more tulips than does any other country in Western
Europe.
The US State of Georgia has more land than does the state of Pennsylvania.
The area of Georgia is greater than that of Pennsylvania.

6. Less vs. Fewer: When something uncountable decreases, we use less


When something countable decreases, we use fewer
For Example: Female drivers tend to get fewer speeding tickets.
Pennsylvania has less land than does Georgia.

7. Despite/In Spite of: The word despite and the expression in spite of mean the
same thing, but the former cannot be used with of and the latter must appear with
all three words.

For Example: Despite his lack of training, he is very knowledgeable.

In spite of his lack of training, he is very knowledgeable.

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Critical Reasoning Sheet
Critical reasoning questions in a way are mini reading comprehensions. An Argument is
given in this passage followed by one question on the basis of the paragraph.

Argument

Central to every CR question is the argument. An argument is an ordered line of reasoning


composed of premises, assumptions, and a conclusion. Understanding the elements of an
argument is essential to performing well in this section.

A standard argument consists of the following three stages:

Premise

Each CR argument contains at least one premise. Premises are pieces of information that
provide evidence used to support the conclusion of the argument. For the purposes of
Critical Reasoning arguments, premises are facts not subject to dispute.

Conclusion:

The conclusion is the endpoint of the line of reasoning of an argument. Think of it as the
result of the argument. The line of reasoning leading to a conclusion is often where errors
in logic are made.

Words ,Phrases supporting Conclusions:

So, this shows that, Therefore, We can infer that, Hence, Consequently, It follows that

Assumption:

Assumptions are unstated facts and logical connections in an argument. In order for the
conclusion of an argument to be true, the assumptions upon which that argument is based
must also be true.

For Example:

A girl said to her friend: See that boy and girl. They are holding hands. They must be
committed to each other and must be in a relationship.

For this argument: The premises of the argument are: A girl said to her friend: See that
boy and girl. They are holding hands. The conclusion of the argument is: They must be
committed to each other and must be In a relationship.The assumption In this case is that
the girl assumes that anyone who holds hands has to be a girlfriend-boyfriend (that is in a
relationship).

Weaken the argument

Keep in mind: The key to weaken an argument is to undermine the conclusion, not
necessarily destroy it. In order to weaken this given argument, all we need to say is
something as simple as this: A cousin was helping another by holding her hand.

(This way they do not have to be in a relationship)


Strengthen the argument

Strengthen questions ask you to support the argument in any way possible. Speaking in
numerical terms, any answer choice that strengthens the argument, whether by 1% or by
100%, is correct.

Strengthen the argument: All we need to say is something as simple as this:

In modern times, holding hands in public has become the symbol of relationships.

Inference:

An inference can be defined as an unstated extension of the argument. In other words, it


can also be seen as an implied conclusion. The inference may be about the main point in
the paragraph or it could be about a less important less central issue.

For Example:

The child stood on the sidewalk clenching her ice cream cone. Beads of sweat collected on
her little nose as she furiously licked at the ice cream dripping down her hand.

What can we infer from this?

A lot of things can be inferred from any given situation. In this situation we can say that
:It must me a hot day because her ice cream is melting, and she is sweating.

Inference vs. Assumption:

Imagine a 3 story building as an argument. The assumption can be seen as the foundation
of the building. At the same time, an inference would be akin to the 4th storey of the
building. While the building would not exist without a foundation, the shape and the size
of the 4th storey can be logically deduced from that of the third storey.

Inference Type

Another common type of question is , in which on the basis of the information given in
the passage, we have to check the truthfulness or falsity of the given statement. You have
to classify the statement as:

1. Definitely True: If the statement directly follows from the facts given in the passage.
We can say without doubt that the facts in the passage support the given statement.

2. Probably True: If the inference is probably true though not definitely true in the light
of the facts given. The facts give an indication but cant confirm that the given statement
is definitely true.

3. Data Inadequate: From the facts given you cannot say whether the inference is likely to
be true or false. The data or facts are not sufficient to give any indication regarding the
answer.

4. Probably False: The inference is ' probably false' though not definitely false in the light
of the facts given i.e. the facts dont directly contradict the statement but only give an
indication of it.

5. Definitely False: It contradicts the given facts clearly and directly. We can say without
a doubt that the given statement is definitely false.